Carmel council delays annual arts funding

April 22, 2014
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Carmel City Council postponed approval of the city’s annual arts grant program Monday amid questions about “perceived gaps” in the municipal budget.

“The funding discussion deserves to be done in public,” Councilor Rick Sharp said, referring to a flurry of emails he and other members received over the weekend assuring them that the money is available.

Financial consultant Curt Coonrod assured the council that the city’s spending plan has not changed since it passed in October, but acknowledged officials still need to take a procedural step to finalize the budget.

More than a dozen local arts organizations are slated to receive funding from the 10-year-old city program in 2014. The city sets aside 1 percent of its general fund budget for the grants each year.

“The problem is, we don’t know what the general fund is,” said council Finance Committee Chairwoman Luci Snyder.

Coonrod and the clerk-treasurer’s office gave the council different numbers, she said—and neither is high enough to support the $681,400 in grants Mayor Jim Brainard has proposed. Brainard was traveling Monday, so he couldn’t offer an explanation.

Still, Snyder said she’s confident the issue can be resolved quickly.

“Last year or the year before, we made a mess of this thing and it dragged on far too long,” she said. “But it’s really important that we sit down and make sure we’re all on the same page.”

The council delayed $700,000 in arts grants for months last year. Snyder later proposed a change in the way the grants are administered, but dropped the initiative when it became clear it lacked support.

Brainard accepts applications from the city’s Support for the Arts Fund each year and submits his grant recommendations to the council for approval. Since 2004, more than $6.8 million has been awarded.

“These organizations are worthy of public support, which we view as an economic development tool for the city,” he said in a prepared statement.

Here’s a look at the organizations set to receive funding this year:

— Carmel Symphony Orchestra, $205,000

— Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, $200,000

— Actors Theatre of Indiana, $110,000

— Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, $45,000

— Indiana Ballet Conservatory, $20,000

— Carmel Community Players, $15,000

— International Talent Academy, $15,000

— Carmel Arts Council, $14,900

— Museum of Miniature Houses, $13,500

— Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, $12,000

— Indiana Wind Symphony, $12,000

— Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, $12,000

— Indianapolis Children's Choir, $4,000

— Young Voices Inspire, $3,000
 

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  • Interesting
    The top four recipients of public money were to received $560,000 total and all four are based in the Center for the Performing Arts. It would be interesting to see what their rent and other costs for residence at the Center cost, because I suspect a large portion of those funds go straight back into the Center. It's smoke and mirrors. These organizations could not survive in their digs without heavy public support.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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